Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets lead Seattle two games to one in their best of seven Western Conference Quarter Final series after a 3-2 overtime win by the T-Birds in game three last night. David Richard scored the game winner at the 15:12 mark of the extra session, in a period that saw the visitors out-shoot the Rockets 14-4. Richard’s goal in overtime was his hat-trick marker. Evan Bloodoff and Jamie Benn scored for the Rockets, who were 1/6 on the power play. Kristofer Westblom made 37 saves in the setback. The win means a game five in the series will be played in Seattle Thursday night. The game three loss came on the heels of a Rockets 3-1 win in game two. Tyler Myers, Colin Long and Cody Almond scored power play goals in the victory. The Rockets were 3/8 on the power play while allowing just one goal shorthanded in six chances. The win came on the heels of a 3-2 victory for the Rockets in game one. Colin Long had three assists while Brady Leavold had two goals in the win. Leavold’s power-play goal at the 7:21 mark of the third period stood up as the game winner. It was Leavold’s 2nd goal of the night and 3rd career playoff goal. Kristofer Westblom made 27 saves in the win, as the Rockets went 2 for 5 with the power play.
Series Quick Hits: In the last ten playoff meetings between these two teams, dating back to the 2005 playoff series, the road team has won nine of those ten games. The exception was a game seven home ice win by the Rockets in the 2005 playoff series…The Rockets last overtime playoff loss at home prior to last night was in a 3-2 setback to the Kootenay Ice on March 24th, 2006. Ryan Russell scored the game winner just 27 seconds into the second overtime period. Russell’s goal came on the power play…The T-Birds have opened the scoring in all three games…Jamie Benn and Evan Bloodoff scored goals in last night’s loss, the first career playoff goals for both players…Defenseman Collin Bowman earned an assist on Bloodoff’s goal, his first career WHL playoff point…Four of the six goals the T-Birds have scored in this series have been on the power play….Of the 14 goals scored by both teams in this series, ten have come with the extra man….The winning team in all three games has managed to score just three goals…Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney watched last night’s game… Rockets veteran goaltender Kristofer Westblom has started in all three games while Jacob DeSerres got the call in goal in game three after Riku Helenius started the first two games for Seattle…Westblom is now 5-2-0-0 in 8 career playoff appearances. Westblom was not credited with a win or a loss in a relief playoff appearance against Everett in 2006….The Rockets are now 6-0 in their last six stops in Seattle in the post season dating back to 2003. The Rockets last playoff loss in Seattle was April 22, 2003 in a 3-2 overtime setback Tyler Metcalfe scored the game winner in the second overtime period, despite the Rockets firing 52 shots on T-Birds goaltender Brent Krahn…
This and That: The Rockets won 38 games this season, marking the 13th time in the teams 17 year history they have registered 30 or more wins in a season….The Rockets scored 248 goals, fourth most in the Western Conference behind Tri City (262), Spokane (251) and Vancouver (250). The Rockets scored 92 goals more than a year ago. Colin Long was 2nd in WHL scoring this season with 100 points, becoming the first Rocket since Jesse Schultz (104 points in 2002-2003) to hit the milestone. Jamie Benn led WHL rookies in goals scored (33), while Tyson Barrie led rookie defenseman in scoring (9+34=44). The Rockets had eight players who scored 15 or more goals this season. Last year just three Rockets hit the bench mark. Those three were Chris Ray (19), Justin Bernhardt (15) and Cody Almond (15).
Playoff Experience Leaders: Veterans Colin Joe and overage forward James McEwan lead the Rockets in playoff experience with 18 games. Luke Schenn is next on the list with 15 playoff games.
Rockets vs. Divisions:
vs. BC: 22-12-0-2 vs. US: 7-9-2-0 vs. Central: 4-2-0-1 vs. East: 5-3-0-2
Rockets Players by Province: BC=12 US=4 ALB=3 SASK=2 MAN=1 EURO=1 Total=23
Rockets Schedule - Next 5 Games: Rockets Results - Last 5 Games:
Game #5 of Playoffs Rockets 2 Americans 4 L
Game #6 of Playoffs Rockets 6 Cougars 2 W
Game #7 of Playoffs Rockets 3 Seattle 2 W
Potentially Round Two Rockets 3 Seattle 1 W
Potentially Round Two Rockets 2 Seattle 3 OTL
Record by Month:
Month Games Record Home Road
September: 4 1-2-1-0 0-1-1-0 1-1-0-0
October: 11 5-5-0-1 3-3-0-1 2-2-0-0
November: 13 9-2-1-1 4-1-0-0 5-1-1-1
December: 12 6-4-0-2 2-1-0-0 4-3-0-2
January: 13 10-2-0-1 8-0-0-0 2-2-0-1
February: 11 3-7-0-1 2-5-0-0 1-2-0-1
March: 8 4-4-0-0 2-2-0-0 2-2-0-0
Rockets Season Highs and Lows:
Most Goals Scored: 11 @ Prince George Jan 11/08 in an 11-1 win.
Most Goals Allowed: 9 vs. Lethbridge February 1/08 in a 9-4 loss.
Most Power Play Chances: 11 @ Chilliwack Feb 2/08 in a 6-3 loss, @ Swift Current Jan 25/08. The Rockets were 0/11, losing 4-0.
Most Power Play Goals Scored: 4 @ Cougars Jan 11/08 (11-1 W), vs. Cougars Jan 4/08 in a 6-0 win, @ PG Nov 10/07 (6-1 W)
Most Power Play Goals Allowed: 4 @ Vancouver Dec 29/07 (5-2 L), @ Everett Sept 29/07
Most Shots Taken: 41 @ Prince George Jan 12/08 (5-2 W).
Fewest Shots Taken: 9 @ Vancouver Sept 29/07 (5-0L)
Most Shot Allowed: 48 @ Vancouver Sept 30/07
Fewest Shots Allowed: 11 vs. Chilliwack Mar 12/08 (5-4 W), 13 vs. Blazers Oct 30/07 (6-1 W)
Last Shutout: - Kristofer Westblom 22 saves vs. Cougars Jan 4/08 in a 6-0 win. Kristofer Westblom 28 saves vs. Calgary (5-0 W)
Last Time Shutout: - @ Swift Current Jan 25/08 – Guggenberger 30 saves (4-0 L)
Most Points by a Player: Jamie Benn had 2+4=6 vs. Prince George Jan 19/08.
Most Goals by a Player: Brady Leavold scored 4 goals vs. Prince George Jan 19/08.
Penalty Shots: Dylan Hood fails to score Feb 16/08 in a 3-2 shootout win vs. Edmonton. Juuso Puustinen fails to score on Torrie Jung Feb 8/08 in a Rockets 2-1 shootout loss to the Blazers. Lucas Bloodoff fails to score on Justin Leclerc in 4-3 loss to Kamloops December 28th. Torrie Jung stops Bruins forward Cody Smuk in a 4-1 win in Chilliwack Dec 31/07. Torrie Jung stops Hawks forward Luke Walker Nov 17/07 in a 4-1 win in Portland. Kristofer Westblom stops Everett’s Shane Harper in a 3-2 overtime loss Nov 16/07 in Everett. Torrie Jung stopped Michal Repik in the 3rd period of a 5-0 loss Sept 29/07.
Overtime Winning Goal: Jamie Benn scored at 4:59 December 15/07 in a 3-2 win in Saskatoon. Tyler Myers scored at 3:58 of overtime December 5/07 in a 4-3 win over Medicine Hat. Colin Long scored at :44 of overtime Nov 23/07 in a 7-6 win over Kootenay. Jamie Benn scored at 1:07 of overtime Nov 2/07 in a 3-2 win over Chilliwack.
Shootout Game Winning Goals: Cody Almond scores vs. Chilliwack Mar 7/08 in a 4-3 win. Colin Long scores vs. Giants Feb 24/08 in a 3-2 win. Tyson Barrie scores vs. Edmonton Feb in a 3-2 shootout win. Dylan Hood scores in a 4-3 win in Seattle October 6/07. Colin Long scored the game winner in a 2-1 win over Vancouver October 24th.
Player total: 24
Year by Year Breakdown:
20’s – 3 Westblom, McEwan, Leavold
19’s – 3 Dowzak, MacRae, Joe
18’s – 8 Long, Kytnar, L. Bloodoff, Jung, Schenn, Almond, Benn
17’s – 6 St. Denis, E. Bloodoff, McIntosh, Myers, McMillan, Hood
16’s – 4 Bowman, Barrie, Paradis, Verdino
Average Age: 17.7
Rookies – 7
NHL Draft Picks-Training Camp Attendees: Jamie Benn (Dallas 07), Torrie Jung (Tampa Bay 07), Cody Almond (Minnesota 07), Milan Kytnar (Oilers 07), Tysen Dowzak (Tryout Philadelphia).
Game Notes Compiled by Regan Bartel (AM 1150)